Automating Twitter: Beware of the Dangers

Being a bit of a geek, I thought it would be great to use technology to help generate tweets to my followers. So, having checked out the likes of SocialOomph and Futuretweets – I thought great, this is right up my street to manage a 3 month campaign to automate various tweets on articles, case studies, newsletters, blogs and various other business related links. (Hmm – note to self, it’s sounding ‘spammy’ as I’m writing this).

So being fairly new to the use of social media for business, here’s me thinking I would become a trending phenomenon over night. Err…unfortunately not the case.

After the first month, there was no noticeable difference in followers, retweets or visits to my website – undeterred however I persevered with the automation (with a few live additions here and there I hasten to add just to show followers that I was in fact a living being)! Well I thought, these things take a while to kick on so let the tweets keep on coming.

Still not put off and burying my head in the sand to an extent I decided to let the campaign runs its full course come what may.

Net result – no significant increase in traffic to my website, no increase in the number of followers (in fact a slight decline!), no more money in the bank account and, if that wasn’t enough, penalised by Twitter in as much as I do not appear in their search database (other than when I have been mentioned or retweeted).

Little did I know, until I checked Twitter’s Help Centre, they have the following policy that affects your placement in their search engine – http://support.twitter.com/forums/10713/entries/42646 – which discourages automation, duplication of information and the like. Oops!!

Needless to say, other than an automated blog (which seems reasonable), I have now learnt my lesson and I am being a whole lot more interactive with my followers and who I am following; which is more enjoyable actually – being a real person. I am now just waiting in anticipation for Twitter to forgive me and include me back in their search database.

‘Automatons’ you have been warned – you heard it first here!

Written by Paul Green

Paul Green

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